The official registration form and detail sheet for the 2017 Lake Cachuma Vintage British Motorcycle Rally are finally here.
Pre-Registration will be open until May 14th, and space is limited; don’t miss out on motorcycle paradise!
When: June 1 – 4, 2018 Who: Vintage British Bike Enthusiasts and Their Families Where: Live Oak Campground Cost: $195 per person, Sat or Sun One-Day Fee: $125
More information in PDF files linked below.
With roots deep in vintage British motorcycling and at the urging of Johnny Brown, who secured the campground for the last three years, Eddie and Jodi Mulder continued the tradition of hosting the Lake Cachuma British Bike Rally at Live Oak Camp in Santa Ynez, Ca. The picturesque setting for the Rally is a private 40-acre campground dotted with big oak trees and bordered by the flowing Santa Ynez river. Equipped with electricity, flush toilets, hot showers, a full kitchen and covered patio for group meals and the bike show, it’s the perfect spot. John and Donna Mulrean, from the British Connection, hosted the event for many years, bringing together the fans and riders of the three main British manufacturers, Triumph, BSA and Norton plus other British manufacturers, in one place. The 2017 Lake Cachuma weekend continued the tradition with a stunning classic bike show, exciting field meet events, mapped rides to explore the area, watching the Kentucky Mile dirt track race, old race movies and lots of bench racing. Pure F.U.N.
The event began on Friday with attendees checking in upon arrival. Some drove, but many rode their classic British bikes hundreds of miles! North from San Diego and south from Rabers Parts Mart in San Jose, the campers found their camping spots, got settled and enjoyed a hot welcome dinner. The bonfire was lit to highlight the first evening and the 2017 rally was underway.
The caterer, Los Padres Outfitters, once again, aimed to please, providing real buckaroo style meals that kept everyone well fed. Even those that didn’t eat meat had plenty to eat. Saturday night’s meal was Tri tip and corn on the cob BBQ’d to perfection. String beans, salad and yummy brownies for dessert. Following the meal, a special presentation took place honoring the many supporters of the Lake Cachuma event. Longtime supporters, John and Susan Healy of Coventry Spares were missed but many other sponsors including Bob Raber, Jason of British Customs, Bill Getty of JRC Engineering, and Randy Zimmerman to name a few, were in attendance. Cozmic Joe Filardi, a long time Rally member, artist and welder from Santa Ana, CA, worked for weeks creating amazing art work from old spare parts into metal, Tiki inspired trophies. Especially for Eddie, Cozmic Joe made a sleek desktop dirt track motorcycle solely from triumph motor and gear box parts. First class! In addition to Eddie presenting “thank you” plaques to everyone, Johnny Brown presented Eddie with the original gas tank off of his District 37 #1 winning 1961 Triumph that had been buried in a shop for years. Eddie wiped away his tears after that one! Cozmic had one more custom piece crafted from all British parts. A beautiful motorcycle given to Bill Getty, the event Grand Marshal from JRC Engineering. This piece was approximately 2 feet in length, an absolutely outstanding piece of artwork created by Cozmic Joe. These are one of a kind and recipients are very honored to own one.
As is the custom, awards were also presented for the afternoon bike show that included classes for Triumph, BSA and “Other”, as well as Off-road, Street and “Other” Competition Classes, this years rally theme. The two most coveted awards are given for Best of Show and People’s Choice. The People’s Choice award is the only one given as a result of votes cast by the attendees of the show and the Best of Show is chosen number one by the judges. This year’s Best of Show Award went to son and father duo, John and Roger Sides with their restored 1967 Rickman motorcycle originally purchased from Bud Ekins’. The People’s Choice went to Michael “Brez” Breslin with his 1959 Panther manufactured by Phelon and Moore in Cleckheaton Yorkshire. The machine was found in a woodshed in County Clare, Ireland March 2016 with no wiring, not running and covered in chicken poop.
The presentations ended with 200 people singing happy birthday to Kimmie Gould. A huge raffle was next for the massive table of prizes donated by Triumph of North America, Motion Pro, Raber’s Parts Mart, Coventry Spares, JRC, Baxter Cycles, Barnett Tool and Dye, British Customs and Triumph Classic Motorcycles. Everyone was a big winner! Triumph of North America also provided two new Triumph demos- a Tiger dualsport and T100 Black Bonneville for anyone to take for a spin. By the end of the weekend both had accumulated more than 2,000 miles of travel!
Familiar faces greeted new friends that came to join in the fun. Doggies ruled the land and were a welcome addition. The farthest traveled attendees came all the way from England and one young man got a new nickname, Kona. What Eddie thought his real name, Connor, sounded like with his strong English accent. That is one he can tell his fellow countrymen! The after-event parties were lively, consisting of some cool old wide screen motorcycle racing movies , courtesy of Geoff Patrick as well as the customary campfire and s’mores.
Sunday morning following another fabulous meal the field events took place for the motorcycles on a course perfectly laid out and organized by Steve Ortiz of the So Cal BSA Owner’s Club. Maybe the most competitive meet to date, the entertainment to those watching was outstanding. By far the most popular of the field event activities is the slow race. The bikes line up at the start, wait for the green flag and proceed to the finish in the slowest possible way without a foot touching the ground. This year’s slow race champion was Geoff Patrick on a Triumph Cub, earning himself a crisp $100 bill. The winner of the Field Meet with 60 points was Kenny Thiebaud from Santa Margarita, Ca. After lunch many folks ventured out enjoying the mapped out rides. On each of the rides, special markers were planted along the route. A rider could find and collect only one marker, then turn it in for one of Cozmic Joe’s hand crafted prizes. Those that stayed behind in camp were once again on the field meet course. This time rooting the kids on as they displayed their skill and agility challenging the course and each other. Great teamwork and fun was had by all!
After the group photo, a relaxing afternoon was followed by yet another outstanding meal and another award presentation for the field event champions. Sunday evening’s entertainment was a “Get to Know Your Host” Q&A between Cozmic Joe and Eddie Mulder during which time Eddie shared some of his lifetime experiences and passions as a stunt man, a racing competitor and as a youngster growing up.
At the end of the night some packed up to go home while others spent the final night sharing stories, chatting and enjoying another campfire. Monday morning the last meal was served, goodbyes and thanks were shared and another memorable event was in the books.
Many thanks go out; to Jodi Mulder for her dedication in organizing and orchestrating and working with Eddie, Cozmic Joe with his outstanding artwork and scouting the trails, Bob Ferry for always pitching in and being there, Bill Getty-Grand Marshal and Bob Raber for judging the bike show, as well as Los Padres Outfitters, Steve Ortiz, Nick Mankey – media director and everyone else involved that make this weekend so special. To the Sponsors, Coventry Spares, Rabers Parts Mart, JRC Engineering, Barnett, Terry Otton and the Zimmerman’s at Specialty Fabrications, Inc, Triumph North America, Motion Pro, British Customs, Maxima Racing Oils and Banke Performance – thank you for your continued support. To Johnny Brown, you are the best!
We hope to see everyone again and we encourage you to bring your friends, young and old to enjoy the 2018 Lake Cachuma British Bike Rally June 1-4. A family, fun and relaxing weekend among friends. Watch our Cachuma Lake and Eddie Mulder West Coast Dirt Track Series Facebook pages for updates, photos and video from the 2017 event and thank you to all that shared the weekend with us!
The rise of the Cachuma Lake Phoenix
Live Oak Campground, Cachuma Lake, CA
Memorial Day weekend 2015
Making the long trek from just south of Lake Tahoe to the Cachuma Lake Live Oak Campground, this journalist was pleased to finally arrive at the Vintage British Bike Rally at Lake Cachuma north of Santa Barbara. After an eight year hiatus, like a phoenix, so well coined by Cozmic Joe, the metal sculptor, the rally rose once again to be a weekend of greatness. With some one hundred and fifty participants aboard bikes of many ages old and new everyone had a wonderful time enjoying the weekend celebration.
In attendance, to open the event on Saturday morning with Eddie Mulder was long time event organizer Donna Mulrean who read the “In Flander’s Field” poem of deep appreciation for the veterans through the years that gave so much of themselves for all to enjoy the freedom of weekends and life like this in the United States and elsewhere. Kimberly Gould sang The Star Spangled Banner while Eddie Mulder raised the stars and stripes on the flag pole and everyone wore remembrance red poppies that were donated by the Veterans Association to commemorate the men and woman that lost their lives serving in the military inspired by the world war 1 poem read by Donna. The meaning of the red poppy is recognized in the U.S., parts of the former British Empire, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Also joining the day’s events were long time West Coast Dirt Track Series and now Cachuma Lake event sponsors, Mark and Susan Zimmerman, Randy and Lynne Zimmerman, John and Susan Healy of Coventry spares and original founder of the rally in 1989, and Digger Helm, Jason and Matt from British Customs, builders of the Eddie Mulder Pike’s Peak Triumph and Bob Raber of Raber’s Parts Mart. Raber and a group of about ten riders rode in from San Jose aboard their bikes. Ramspur Winery, Terry and Nancy Otton and Motion Pro other long time WCDTS supporters also offered sponsorship for the Lake Cachuma Rally and provided gifts that were handed out during the evening events. The BSA Nor Cal Club was represented at the rally by Don Danmeier.
The campground, dotted with beautiful oaks and usually a mecca of beautiful green grass, was lacking any grass due to the California water shortage. Bill and Marla Getty of JRC Engineering chalked the course and organized games on motorcycles called a field meet. One up or two up, the competition was fierce maneuvering weighted down cans for the slalom course, collecting the straws in the bottles, tossing bean bags into a tire, a spoon race carrying a waffle ball the entire length the course on a spoon without it falling off, and an exciting slow race with a two hundred dollar purse. The rules were only that the rider could not put a foot down on the ground during their challenge to avoid elimination. Points were gathered throughout the competition that would be tallied for the evening award program.
Beautiful motorcycles adorned many camp spots including many that dated back to the very early 1900’s and had been ridden from destinations far north and south to join the rally. Saturday afternoon many enjoyed riding their iron horses on one of the four self-guided rides with maps courtesy of Ride Central coordinator Cozmic Joe Filardi, tours mapped out to see the sights around the area. Saturday evening everyone joined together for a meal of BBQ tri tip, beans, salad, corn on the cob, cupcakes and all the other goodies of a great meal prepared and catered by the Los Padres Outfitters. The Outfitters prepared 3 delicious meals each day for the group. A wonderful award presentation took place following the meal. Eddie Mulder and John Healy of Coventry Spares and publisher of the “Vintage Bike” magazine who traveled with his wife Susan from Massachusetts to join the rally led the presentation. Many gifts donated by Raber’s Parts Mart, Coventry Spares, JRC Engineering, Triumph of No America, Barnett and Motion Pro were given to the rally participants. By Sunday evening most everyone had received a gift that included, parts, autographed event T shirts, other rT Shirts, Cups, water bottles, books and so much more. Winners of the morning field meets for both the adults and the children were recognized individually with medals and some ribbing from Eddie, John and the other participants. Being a family affair, the children ran the same course challenges on their bicycles as the adults did on motorcycles.
After a pancake breakfast Sunday morning the group of 97 bikes headed out on a ride into Solvang, a lovely small Danish town to visit the Solvang Vintage Motorcycle Museum that houses some outstanding two wheeled motorcycles and a world of motorcycle history. Each bike is displayed with a placard of available information relative to that machine and its history. Included were several custom one of a kind, proto types, and first edition motorcycles from the United States, Europe, Japan and other countries. A building full of exceptional equipment built for transportation, competition, dirt tracks, ice racing, road racing and much more; eye candy to those that have a passion for motorcycles and their history.
Back at the campground John Healy was orchestrating the placement of bikes around and under the oak trees for the upcoming afternoon bike show. Judging would be done in several categories that included Competition, Unit Construction, Pre Unit Construction, Custom, Committees Choice, Best in Show and People’s Choice. Again after dinner another award presentation was held to honor the winners of the bike show. The People’s Choice award, chosen by all of the rally participants was awarded to Nathan Matteson for his 1950 Triumph 6T Thunderbird, Best of Show for a 1939 Ariel Square 4 was awarded to Ralph Nevarez. The Best of Show winning bike belonged to Ralph’s father for many years, was handed down to an uncle and many years later handed down to Ralph. Ralph was awarded with a custom made, hand sculpted, one of a kind work of art created by Cozmic Joe. Other class awards were: Unit Construction to Alexia Dunlavey for a 1967 Triumph TR6, Pre Unit Construction to Craig Fontaine for a 1956 BSA, Competition to Greg McBride for a 1949 Vincent Black Shadow, Custom to Bob Ferry for a 1960 BSA Gold Star and the Committee Choice winner was a 1963 Matchless G12 awarded to it’s owner Chris Smith.
Cozmic Joe also created a 3 foot sculpture with the initials JB and “Cubman” formed from motorcycle parts and chain to honor the efforts of Johnny Brown. Brown was a scrambles rider when he was young. As the result of an accident at the age of 18 he was paralyzed from the waist down however, that didn’t slow him down much. He owns 200 plus Triumph Cubs and was the initiator of the 2015 Vintage British Motorcycle Rally, obtaining the permit and gathering the help of Eddie, Jodi and others to make it happen. Brown has never missed a rally at Lake Cachuma.
At the end of the night on Sunday the group was asked if they would like to do it again in 2016. An unanimous “Yes” was echoed from the crowd and the call was made at the start of the day when business resumed on Tuesday to request a reservation for the 2016 Vintage British Bike Rally. As of this writing the request had not yet been answered.